Saturday, June 12, 2010

Praxis II : Priciples of Learning and Teaching K-6

I took a test today because some of the Arizona schools are giving me flack for not having it done. It was the Praxis II : Principles of Learning and Teaching K-6.

First- my general impressions.
The test covered basically what I expected it to. There was nothing on the particular researchers which rather bumed me out for spending time on it. However, the test was a lot longer than I expected. The practice test only provided two essay questions and 26 multiple-choice. The actual test had four essay and 26ish multiple choice. The essays were a case study followed by three short-answer questions. However, these were not the typical short-answer where one expects no more than three sentences. These were detailed in depth answers that required at least two paragraphs for each answer. This totaled 24 full paragraphs written in long-hand. If I had been typing I would have had no difficulty in finishing within the two hour time limit, but because it was written I really struggled. It was not that the content was difficult, but that there was so limited time. When I took the Elementary Content Knowledge exam the two hours was more than sufficient because it was all multiple choice. When it comes to essays there is a lot more evaluative thought that goes into completing the section correctly.

Thankfully, I do know some good test taking strategies. I tackled the multiple choice first, then the essays. If I had not I would have spent too much time on the essays and not had enough time to finish the multiple choice. As it was I barely had time to go back through and reevaluate my answers on the multiple choice.

Now, more specifics.
I'm not allowed to discuss particular content of the test or test questions so I'll cover it generally and hopefully I'll get my answer across. The question dealt with a child who may or may not have a behavior disorder and what the next step was. However, the teacher had not identified the problem, nor had a custodian parent. So, what does the teacher do? It's really bothering me that I don't know the answer and I'm struggling to quantify it so that I can figure out what the answer is. I was torn between what is Legal and what is equitable for the child. In the end I went with what seemed to be the legal option.

Maybe once the test is released I might be able to get the answer. Or if I ask the question as if it related to a student who I had in my classroom? Hum. How do I find out the answer to my question without breeching the security of ETS and endangering my test?

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